This week's tablehopper: sleigh bells ring, are you listening?

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Tom and Jerry’s Christmas house on 21st Street, one of my favorite things about San Francisco. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hey there, hi there, ho ho ho there. I know everyone is crazy busy right now, but I hope you’re taking some time out for a little holiday cheer and QT with friends and family. I love this time of year so much. A few highlights from this week’s holiday gallivanting: Tuesday night, I went to check out Desco in Old Oakland, which has an elegant holiday look right now. The housemade casonsèi stuffed with pork and amaretto crumbs and the pork osso buco are ideal wintertime dishes—ditto the baked paccheri, a deluxe version of Italian mac and cheese with cauliflower and egg, just whoa!

Wednesday was the second year of my unofficial Holiday Spirits Tour, a night that included a visit to the Santas at Brass Tacks, Tom & Jerrys at Elixir, a stop at Tom and Jerry’s Christmas house on 21st Street, a late dinner at Trick Dog (the boneless chicken wings, hell to the yes) and their oh-so-tasty Trick Nog, and a nightcap by the fireplace at the Big 4—had to say farewell (for now). What a blast. Documentation of the evening’s shenanigans can be found on my Instagram page. (A version of last year’s tour can be found here.)

Last night was really memorable: a friend and I went to see The Pianist of Willesden Lane at Berkeley Rep, and I am still reeling from that incredible performance. So moving. Tickets are hard to come by, but if you get a chance to go, don’t miss it. It also meant we got to eat at Ippuku, always such a treat. That place pays true homage to chicken, from the yakitori (so glad our server told us about the chicken neck special) to the broth in the ramen they make (although I didn’t spring the tartare on my dining partner).

We all have a million errands to run, but my article on 7x7.com may be a big help, featuring three places that offer unique delivery options in the city, from a holiday roast to Champagne to gifts from independent SF shops, all brought right to your door! One more: many of you responded to my post on Tuesday about Joanna Karlinsky’s biscuits (thank you!!) but in case you missed it, that’s another thing you can have brought right to you. And chili! Yee haw.

So, this is the last tablehopper I’ll be writing until just after the New Year! I’m going to be taking a break to enjoy some free time to be with my family and work on some personal projects. But before we sign off, we have a roundup for you on where to dine out on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day! I’ll be back in your inbox on January 3rd with the bore (heh heh)! (Publicists and restaurant owners, plllllease don’t pitch me on anything unless it’s for January 7th or later, thanks a mil.)

Have a very happy holiday, and for those of you who bought tickets to Top It Off, I’ll see you on Saturday the 28th at Marianne’s, can’t wait! Pop!

This has been such a special year! Sincere thanks and immense gratitude for all the abundance, kindness, generosity, and support.

Happy/merry!
Marcia Gagliardi
(AKA Champers the elf)

View tablehopper Newsletter from Friday, Dec 20 2013